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 Apr 13 - 19, 2017 
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Restaurant Review

Mountains of Chow

Fresh food—and a lot of it—at Fareast Fuzion

By Taylor Grabowsky

On a blustery Sunday afternoon my cousin, her daughter and I were in need of some Asian food, so we decided to check out Fareast Fuzion Sushi Bar and Lounge on Central and San Mateo. Although the outside of Fareast doesn't offer much, the inside is well-decorated and cozy. Red walls are adorned with paintings, there are dragon kites hanging from the ceiling, and a large fish tank sits behind the sushi bar on the far wall. The small dining room had only one other full table, and we were seated in a booth on the other side of the restaurant. I was surprised that the place wasn't busier for a weekend afternoon, but figured that maybe the A.R.T. construction had something to do with it.

We were all starving and the extensive menus (both regular and sushi) were both welcoming and overwhelming. Our waitress was very friendly, and we put in our orders for drinks: Thai iced coffee ($2.50), jasmine tea and Dr. Pepper (both $1.95), while we mulled over our choices a little more. The jasmine tea came with its own teapot, and the Thai iced coffee came in a milkshake glass. The iced coffee was very sweet and creamy, it almost tasted like melted coffee ice cream.

Before hunger took us over completely, we ordered our food. I chose the sesame chicken ($9.95) that came with a side of white rice and a choice of a cup of miso or egg drop soup. I picked the egg drop soup. My cousin got the red curry with tofu ($9.95), and the little one chose a classic orange chicken ($9.95), that also came with a side of rice and she chose the miso soup. On the sushi menu we ordered a New Mexico roll ($5.95) and a vegetable tempura roll ($4.95). It seemed like seconds after we placed our order that the soups arrived at our table. The bright sunshine yellow of the egg drop soup warmed me up before I even took a sip. When I finally dug in, I was rewarded with the best egg drop soup in town. The broth was not too thick or too runny; it had the perfect texture. The pieces of egg were large and chewy without being slimy. By the time I looked up from my soup, several plates of food were being placed upon our table.

Drunken noodles
Drunken noodles

My cousins and I gave each other the same look of determination to finish the smorgasboard. “I don't think this is orange chicken. It isn't all congealed,” my little cousin exclaimed. We explained to her that this wasn't Panda Express, and the large orange slices lying in the sauce over the chicken indicated that it was, indeed, orange chicken. My dish was overflowing with crispy, crunchy sweet and tangy sesame chicken with a healthy amount of sauce as well. Our sides of rice were served in overflowing bowls, and my cousin's red curry came in an oversized bowl.

Both the sushi rolls were served with our meal, so we had a lot to take in. The N.M. roll comes with a filling of cucumber, avocado and tempura-fried green chile. The vegetable tempura roll has the same filling, just various tempura-fried veggies instead of green chile. Each roll comes with six to eight pieces. The tempura in both rolls added a nice extra crunch and flavor to them, while the green chile was my favorite. Like a true New Mexican, I believe green chile can and should be added to every dish. After several quiet moments only broken by the occasional utensil hitting a plate, I remarked at how proud I felt. The sense of pride that happens when you find a good restaurant with delicious food that everyone enjoys. The kind that surfaces when you know that, even though you didn't make the food, you made the decision to order the food. Nodding in agreement, my cousins also felt the same way. We left with bellies full of tasty food, hands full of leftovers we couldn't finish and hearts full of misplaced pride.

The second time I went to Fareast to get a another helping of pride was a Thursday where I met my friend for lunch, and she brought her one-year-old son. The place was still just as empty as the first time I had been there, and the service was just as quick and friendly. The waitress offered my friend a highchair for her son, and my friend remarked on how family-friendly they were. Hungry and unable to make a decision, my friend and I decided to share the sweet and sour chicken ($9.95) and the drunken noodles with tofu ($9.95). We also ordered the Lady in Red roll ($11.95), which has the same filling as the N.M. roll, but is topped with crab and special sauce.

Our food came, and yet again I was overwhelmed at how much we were given and how high the plates were piled with food. Nevertheless, we persisted. The sweet and sour chicken wasn't overly drenched in sauce, which was nice. It also came with large slices of carrots and onions. The surprise star was the drunken noodles. The tofu was crispy on the outside and full of flavor, which is not always the case with tofu. The basil gave a nice overall flavor to the dish without it being overpowering. It was spicy, it was savory, and there was a crispiness in every bite, thanks to the tofu. Both my friend and I were so pleasantly surprised by this dish. “I'm definitely ordering that next time,” she said when we were leaving. So next time you're in the neighborhood, stop by this little unassuming Asian restaurant next to a used car lot on Central. Come hungry and leave proud.

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Fareast Fuzion Sushi Bar and Lounge

5901 Central NE
(505) 255-2910
http://pwbportal.us/fareast-fuzion-sushi-bar-lounge
Hours: Mon-Thu 11am-9pm, Fri 11am-10pm, Sat noon-10pm, Sun noon-8pm
Vibe: Quiet and cozy
Alibi Recommends: Egg drop soup, drunken noodles
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